Alumna Authors Book Aimed to Help Children Conquer Fear of Storms

Storm BuddiesCAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, Dec. 12, 2014 – As Southeast Missouri State University alumna Melissa Pope of St. Louis watched her son fear the rumble and lighting of thunderstorms, she decided it was time to do something about it. She authored and launched “Storm Buddies,” a book and pillow line designed to help children conquer their fear of thunderstorms.

“Watching my son and his fear was incredibly heartbreaking.  I always wished he would have had something to comfort him during stormy weather. I tried to create characters that can come alive when children need them the most, Pope said.”

“Storm Buddies” is centered on a young boy who is frightened by storms and finds it hard to cope with them. While in bed, he finds a small cloud pillow beneath him and inside there are three small animals. These animals are the storm buddies and they possess super powers that help children cope with their fear of storms.

Pope notes that along with the book, she has created a line of plush storm buddies that fit in a specially designed pillow she calls the “storm cloud.” Through her book and plush animals, she hopes children will gain a sense of security and comfort from storms.

Pope, who graduated from Southeast with a degree in elementary education, taught first and fourth grade for 11 years before becoming a stay at home mother and subsequently launching her Storm Buddies project.

She is also involved in COPE24, Changing Our Parenting Experience 24 hours a day, where she serves on the board of directors.

“It is the belief of this organization that very little time is devoted to preparing young adults for what to expect when bringing home a baby.  The mission of Cope24 is to equip young adults with the skills and education needed to be better parents. I have witnessed, that healthier families, void of abuse and neglect will produce healthier teens and adults; and thereby reduce the cycle of child abuse,” Pope said.

Pope is the mother three sons, Alec, Michael and Jack, and enjoys attending their athletic events as well as cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and Rams.

Her advice to Southeast students is “Follow your dreams!  When you want to do something, make it happen.  Always remember the signature phrase in The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can, I think I can!”